Monday, January 18, 2021

Pete Apostolou and Roanoke Wrestling

Pete Apostolou promoted many wrestling matches in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s, both on Saturday afternoon TV shows on WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) and in live evening venues such as the old American Legion Auditorium, Legion Stadium, and Starland Arena, seen here. (Roanoke Times Photo)


The following is an edited from a much larger article from the Roanoke Times by Ray Cox, originally published March 11, 2018. We extracted info about longtime Roanoke promoter Pete Apostolou for historical purposes, fleshing out some great detail about the old TV tapings that took place at WDBJ channel 7 in Roanoke.  Take time to read Cox's entire article on the Roanoke.com website here.
 

Professional wrestling has a rich history going back many decades from coast to coast, up into Canada and down into Mexico. A fondly recalled footnote involved the many Star City bouts promoted by Pete Apostolou on behalf of Jim Crockett Promotions.

WDBJ-TV (Channel 7) carried live studio wrestling Saturday afternoons from 1957-67. Early years of the show were staged on the second floor of the offices that still serve The Roanoke Times. Beloved WDBJ weatherman Hal Grant handled ringside blow-by-blow and post-match interviews. Apostolou was the color man. [The shows] were usually preludes to live evening bouts at venues such as the old American Legion Auditorium. More on the Bolos in a minute.

Eventually, in 1965 Apostolou bought an old bowling alley between Salem Turnpike and Shenandoah Avenue, dubbed it the Starland Arena, and continued Saturday night shows there. Apostolou thus had “the perfect set-up where the guys could come in and do the live ‘All Star Wrestling’ TV and the Starland Arena show all within hours of each other,” wrote Dick Bourne at Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Another perfect setup for these weekend productions was that the touring grapplers would stay at the former Ponce De Leon Hotel on downtown Roanoke’s Campbell Avenue, right across 2nd Street from the Times-World building. Thus the beefy stars of the Saturday beating and banging matinees could wake up from their naps and walk to work.

Retired Roanoke newspaperman Bob Adams recalled the bad old days of Campbell Avenue head-busting. “The wrestlers would come up to the third floor rest room, which used to be right next to the sports department, to use as a dressing room,” Adams said. “On the second floor, they hated each other. They’d come up to the third floor, and be laughing and talking.”

Apostolou would take down the results of the bouts and bring them up to the sports desk, where editor Bill Brill, moonlighting as a publicist, would write up the press release, Adams said. At other times, one wrestling magazine or another would call into the sports department for results. Peeved copy editors, with regular newspaper deadlines looming, were as likely to make something up as give an accurate report, Adams remembered.

* * * * * * * 

Here is the link to the original story on the Roanoke.com website which includes greater detail, plus references to Jimmy "Boogie Man" Valiant and a deep dive into the Bolos via Gateway contributor Mike Cline. Great stuff from Ray Cox! (And thanks for mentioning the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.)

WOYM: Who were those masked wrestlers of the early days of Roanoke television?
By Ray Cox | Special to The Roanoke Times Mar 11, 2018 

https://www.roanoke.com/news/woym-who-were-those-masked-wrestlers-of-the-early-days/article_ae4cf29e-59f6-593b-bf1f-31051e4c65cc.html

Thanks to Kyle Rosser for making us aware of this particular column.

This Gateway article was originally published on the Studio Wrestling website, a part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway family of websites. 

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Final Show at WPCQ Studio in Charlotte (1983)

A series of posts about our favorite episodes available for streaming on the WWE Network
by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
WWE Network Data: First Airdate Saturday July 2, 1983
(Taped Wed. June 29, 1983) [WWE Network Link]

United States Heavyweight Champion Greg Valentine

FINAL SHOW AT WPCQ STUDIO
This show would be the very last taping at WPCQ studios in Charlotte, and the last time Mid-Atlantic and World Wide Wrestling would ever be taped in a studio setting. Jim Crockett Promotions had moved their TV production to these cramped quarters two years earlier, moving from WRAL in Raleigh when that station needed the studio every night for their locally produced insert-segments of the new show "PM Magazine."

WPCQ was a real step down in production quality for the programs with noticeable declines in the quality of video and audio during this time. Additionally, and most noticeably, the studio was too small, and the ring had to be turned catty-cornered in order to have room for Bob Caudle's set, as well as the cameras and production crew.

So the move of TV production out into the arenas was a welcome development, although I love the old studio settings by and large, and miss that era. But there wasn't a Saturday that at some point during a show from WPCQ that I didn't think to myself, boy, do I miss WRAL.

They certainly went out with a bang as this episode was a ton of fun, particularly due to the work of Jerry Brisco on the mic as one of the most annoyingly cocky heels ever. His performance, along with brother Jack, is just masterful.


The Briscos confront Ricky Steamboat

THE BRISCOS
This episode is a showcase for the Brisco brothers as heels.  Jerry calls it "The Brisco Brothers Hour." Jack and Jerry are basking in the glow of their victory over Ricky Steamboat and Jay Youngblood for the NWA World Tag Team titles, and are really rubbing it in. The Briscos are on my list of all-time favorite tag teams, largely due to their work in this area as heels in 1983.

During this episode they get in the face of Mike Rotundo at the opening of the show, and later provoke Ricky Steamboat to lose his temper, although Jerry came out on the wrong end of that as Steamboat knocks him out cold!

The Briscos wrestle Keith Larson (aka Wally "Rocky" Kernodle) and Rick McCord on this show in what can only be called a scientific wrestling clinic. As part of their heel personas, the Briscos were always out to prove they were superior technical wrestlers and they just have their way with Larson and McCord who, by the way, were two of the more talented undercard/mid-card wrestlers to ever work the territory.



Rufus R. Jones defends the honor of the winner of Paul Jones's picture.


PAUL JONES GIVES AWAY HIS PICTURE

For about six weeks leading up to this show, manager Paul Jones has been conducting a contest where the winner will receive a huge, oversized poster of Paul in a Tuxedo. The big poster has been on display for weeks and provided some hilarious moments over that time as Paul talked weekly with Bob Caudle about the contest. This week, he finally awards the photo to the contest winner at the end of the show. Paul is very rude to her and Rufus R. Jones comes out to defend the honor of the contest winner. Paul and the two wrestlers he manages, Dory Funk, Jr. and Jake "The Snake" Roberts, beat up Rufus in the ring as the credits roll at the end of the show.


DORY FUNK, JR.'s LOVE AFFAIR WITH MIKE ROTUNDO
One thing is clear re-watching these late 1982 and early-to-mid 1983 episodes: booker Dory Funk, Jr. was in love with Mike Rotundo. There can be no other way to describe it. No other wrestler during this time period got more exposure in the ring, on interviews, and doing color commentary on TV than the mid-card All-American from Syracuse.

This week, Rotundo is the color commentator with host Bob Caudle. As great a performer as Rotundo would prove to be in the ring, he was just as bad on the mic during this early part of his career. Rotundo definitely got his groove going and developed a personality in 1988 when he was a heel in the Varsity Club and was playing off goofy, lovable babyface Rick Steiner. But in 1983 he was as green, dry, and dull as you could possibly imagine. But Dory was intent on giving Rotundo ample opportunities to improve. And this was one of them, doing color commentary the entire program. I actually love Rotundo's work in the ring. But this was painful. Somehow, it did not detract from me enjoying this awesome episode, though, and I hope it won't for you, either.


THE LOCAL PROMO SPOTS
Most of these episodes on the WWE Netowrk do not include the local promotional spots that were some of the most entertaining parts of the programs back in the day. Those localized interviews were recorded during the day prior to the taping of the shows and then inserted into the tape that went out to the various market stations. Since these archived episodes don't have the local promos, they include a "live" studio interview taped right along as the main program was being taped. For much of late 1982 and 1983, these segments were largely aimed at the Florida territory. The Mid-Atlantic show was seen on a few select stations throughout Florida and so the guys being interviewed would aim many of their comments towards the wrestlers in Florida. Fans in the Mid-Atlantic area would not see these interviews; they were seeing their local promotional spots at that moment.

A good example of these is the interview Dick Slater does in the second promotional spot location. Slater directly addresses Dusty Rhodes (at that time a regular in Florida, and also the booker of the territory) and tells him he might be the American Dream and the Midnight Cowboy (a reference to Dusty working as the Midnight Rider) but he will never be the Errol Flynn of wrestling!


TIDBITS:
  • Interesting to see a very young Joel Deaton on this show. Deaton would later wrestle under a mask as "Thunderfoot" managed by James J. Dillon in 1985. He would work several smaller southern territories in the late 1980s before making a name for himself in the 1990s in Japan. I always liked Deaton's work in the ring.
  • Greg Valentine methodically works over John Bonello in an entertaining opening match.
  • Roddy Piper mentions he has a new partner "Mr. T" - - and then pulls out a tire iron. I did do a double-take when he said that though, thinking about where Piper would be less than two years later with the real Mr. T at the first Wrestlemania.
  • During Dick Slater's match, Bob Caudle mentions that the Assassins are coming into the area soon, and that one of them is reportedly the son of the Great Bolo. This would turn out to be the new Assassin #2, which later turned out to be Hercules Hernandez under the mask. They played up the Great Bolo son angle for several months. The Great Bolo was a huge star for Jim Crockett promotions in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and it's cool that they were calling back that far into their history.
  • Harley Race makes it clear he doesn't want to wrestle Flair anymore, and claims Flair was a "fluke" champion since all he really did was slip past a "fat man" to win the title. This was a shot (a "rib on the square" as Steve Austin is famous for saying) at the wrestler Flair beat for the NWA title, Dusty Rhodes.
  • Flair, Piper, and Race all appeared in pre-taped interviews from the brand new make-shift studio at the main office building of Jim Crockett Promotions on Briarbend Drive. The studio was established as the location for taping the local interviews that would be inserted to the syndicated programs. The interviews had previously been taped at the WPCQ studios prior to the taping of the shows. But with the move out to the arenas to begin next week, JCP needed a spot to record the shows, and so they set up a make-shift studio at the Briarbend offices.
  • Wahoo McDaniel does his famous war dance and tomahawk chop (Bob Caudle affectionately called it the "tommy-hawk" chop over the years) before defeating the Magic Dragon. Considered by most to be politically incorrect today, that war dance and chop was one of the things that made Wahoo so exciting and so special to me when I first started watching wrestling.

CHAMPIONS ROLL CALL
NWA World Champion: Harley Race
NWA World Tag Champions: Jack & Jerry Brisco
United States Champion: Greg Valentine
Mid-Atlantic Champion: Dory Funk, Jr.
NWA TV Champion: The Great Kabuki

STUDIO MATCHES ON THIS PROGRAM
[1] Greg Valentine (US Champion) vs. John Bonello
[2] The Briscos (NWA Tag Champs) vs. Keith Larson / Rick McCord
[3] Jimmy Valiant & Bob Orton Jr. vs. Bill Howard & Joel Deaton
[4] Dick Slater vs. Vinnie Valentino
[5] Dory Funk Jr. (Mid-Atlantic Champ) & Jake Roberts vs. Bret Hart & Mike Davis


FILMED MATCHES FROM THE ARENA:
Wahoo McDaniel vs. The Magic Dragon (with Gary Hart)




INTERVIEWS
Jack and Jerry Brisco
Ric Flair and Roddy Piper (pre-taped at the Briarbend Drive studio)
Mike Rotundo
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Harley Race (pre-taped at the Briarbend Drive studio)
Dick Slater
Paul Jones (with Jake Roberts and Dory Funk, Jr.)

http://network.wwe.com/shows/vault/mid-atlantic

WWE NETWORK
FREE MONTH FOR NEW SUBSCRIBERS!
Check out all of the Mid-Atlantic episodes currently available!

MID-ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP PODCAST
Don't miss this great podcast, hosted by Mike Sempervive and Roman Gomez, as they look back at classic early 80s episodes of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as seen on the WWE Network.
 
MID-ATLANTIC TV REPORT AND SUMMARIES
David Taub reviews and summarizes all the episodes of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling airing on the WWE Netowrk. Visit our TV Report & Podcast page for links to all the shows.


Edited from a story originally posted January 30, 2018 on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway. 


http://bookstore.midatlanticgateway.com

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Seeking More Information on Jay "Dude" Walker

WWE Network Screen Grab

Updated Saturday 1/16/21

We're looking for more information on this fellow appearing with Bob Caudle and Gordon Solie on the Starrcade '83 closed-circuit extravaganza from Thanksgiving night 1983.

His working name on FM radio was apparently Dude Walker. He was a drive-time DJ for G-105 FM (WDCG), a top-40 radio powerhouse out of the Raleigh-Durham area in 1983. (Edit: WDCG originally stood for "Durham's Country Giant.")

Between early matches during the Starrcade '83 closed-circuit telecast, Bob introduced Dude to the audience and asked him what he thought about Ric Flair. Dude said he believed Flair would take the title from Harley Race that night since Flair was in his home area, and indicated that everyone at G-105 was behind the Nature Boy.

But of more interest to us is the fact that Dude also briefly hosted some of the local promo interviews for Jim Crockett Promotions in the fall of 1983 and in 1984 that were taped at the makeshift garage studio on Briarbend Drive in Charlotte, although Tony Schiavone was still doing them at the time, too. But that  stint makes him part of the historical roster of announcers in the Crockett studio era. (Edit: In some 1984 promo segments, wrestlers referred to him as Jay. So possibly his name was Jay Walker.)

We googled Dude Walker and came across several radio personalities with that name, which apparently must have been a thing in radio. Who knew? But none of them were our guy.

Edit: Of note to point out, Gateway visitor Travis Tarrant recalls that in late 1982 and early 1983, G-105 would interview a few wrestlers after the matches had finished at the Raleigh Civic Center. It may have been Dude Walker conducting those interviews.

If you have any information on Jay/Dude Walker, we'd love to know more about him. You can contact us via the Contact Page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.



Some interesting tidbits about G-105 FM and why there may have been a tie-in with Jim Crockett Promotions during Starrcade '83: 

They have had several formats over the decades including country and rock, but became a top-40 station in 1981 1978 and became a 100,000 watt powerhouse in 1982 when they began transmitting on the WRDU-TV tower in Chatham County. 

They were one of the first stations in their market to operate a dual-city license with their primary market being Raleigh-Durham, but also with a special signal going into the Greensboro-High Point-Winston Salem market. During this era of the first Starrcade, they were one of the most powerful and popular radio stations in central NC and the Piedmont. 

This may have been why they partnered with JCP to promote the first Starrcade, given their reach and popularity across the immediate area around Greensboro.

They are still around, a top-40 iHeart radio station based out of Raleigh and licensed out of Durham, NC.

If you have any information on Jay/Dude Walker, we'd love to know more about him. You can contact us via the Contact Page on the Mid-Atlantic Gateway.

Thanks to those who have provided additional information, including Joe DiGiacomo and Travis Tarrant.

This article is edited from an original post on the Studio Wrestling site (part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway family of websites) on January 11, 2021.

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: April 30, 1983

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on
the WWE Network

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 04/30/83
(taped 04/27/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show Mid-Atlantic 04/30/83
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.] 


Match 1
Mike Rotundo & Johnny Weaver d. Masa Fuchi & Red Dog Lane

Paul Jones joins Bob Caudle on commentary, as this match is underway as the show starts. Stu Schwartz is the referee for the hour. Nothing spectacular. Rotundo pins Fuchi after an airplane spin.

[Break]

[TAPE] Int. w/David Crockett: Dick Slater & Greg Valentine
We’re on the World Wide set. Crockett says the NWA is warning the two regarding their behavior. Valentine says this is professional wrestling. It is his job to hurt people. Slater chimes in with some comments. 

[FILM] Charlotte: We now go to a clip of Flair vs. Valentine, with Crockett & Caudle voicing over the clip. Just a few minutes, of Valentine working head locks on Flair.

[TAPE] Charlotte: We jump now to a bloodied Ric Flair with a mic in the locker room. Flair wants Valentine again, he wants his title to be on the line too. When he gets hold of Valentine, whoo, he will be his all night long!

[Break]

Match 2
Non-Title: Roddy Piper [U.S. Champion] d. Ben Alexander

Piper doing some wrestling in this contest. He wins with the swinging neckbreaker.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Roddy Piper
Brief interview. Says when Valentine & Slater talk about going after him, they are just shooting blanks.

[CLIP][FLORIDA TV]: Jake Roberts vs. Barry Windham
Caudle then throws to a clip from Championship Wrestling from Florida, Roberts vs. Windham. No date given on the match. Gordon Solie & Magnum T.A. are on commentary. Jake slingshots Windham’s neck over the top ropes, then a high knee, but only a two count. The bell rings indicating a time limit draw. Roberts goes to the TV desk to complain to Solie. It looks like he loads his knee pad, and unloads on Windham on the outside. Windham crashes through the wooden partition.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle:  Mike Rotundo
Rotundo comments on the video that just played. He wants Roberts and feels he can beat him. Rotundo says he doesn’t like Paul Jones.

-Halftime Int. w/Bob Caudle:  Mike Rotundo
This is in lieu of local promos. Back to back Rotundo. Repeats many of the same talking points that we just saw.

[Break]

- Int.: Humperdink says he’s purchased this time. They are on the World Wide set. Humperdink says Kelly Kiniski has joined the House of Humperdink. He talks about OMG beating on Andre, and the $5,000 slam challenge is still in effect.

Match 3
Rufus R. Jones vs. Bill White
Paul Jones is on commentary. Jones says Rufus is a changed man. Paul continues to tout Jake Roberts ansd mentions Mike graham is coming in from Florida to avenge the beating Windham took from Roberts.
Paul says if Rufus wants the Mid-Atlantic belt, he has to go through Dory Funk, Jr. Lots of dancing while wrestling for Rufus. Lots of trash talk by Paul on Rufus, some of it borderline racist. Rufus wins with a headbutt.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco
Caudle mentions they had a controversial match. Jack disagrees. We go to a tape. 

[TAPE] World Wide: Steamboat/Youngblood vs. Briscos (Brief)
This is the famous match from World Wide, where Jerry had a figure four on Steamboat. Youngblood chops Jack, who lands on Steamboat’s legs. Steamboat joins the interview, as Jerry explains it was just an accident. Steamboat says he doesn’t think it was deliberate, but doesn’t think it was an accident either. Jack says let’s prove it next week. Steamboat agrees.

[Break]

Match 4
Jos LeDuc d. Snake Brown

Brown gets some offense in, before LeDuc responds. A longer match than expected. LeDuc wins with the backbreaker.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Gary Hart, Great Kabuki, Magic Dragon
Hart says his team should be number-one contenders for the tag team championship. Hart insists on a tournament to determine the top contenders. He gets a dig in at Jimmy Valiant as well.

[Break]

Match 5
Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon d. Vinnie Valentino & Ron Rossi

Hart joins Caudle on commentary. Valentino briefly puts up a fight after a one-sided affair. Dragon pins Rossi after the Macau Roll, a forward somersault splash. After the match, he team joins Bob Caudle throwing out challenges.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Sgt. Slaughter
Slaughter is carrying one of the World tag team championship belts. Slaughter welcomes a top contender’s tournament. He taunts Steamboat & Youngblood and the Briscos, saying if they were men they would have the belt around their waists. He talks about an upcoming cage match, where the losing team has to split up. Steamboat then jumps Slaughter from behind. A short, intense brawl, as Steamboat is trying to wrestle belt away. The tussle continues in the ring, as the credits roll.  With a big right hand, it looks like Slaughter wins the battle. He escapes as the show goes off the air.


* * * * *

Results for the week, 4/25/83-5/01/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 4/25/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Vinnie Valentino beat Masa Fuchi
Johnny Weaver beat Ricky Harris
Jake Roberts beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon
Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine in a no DQ match
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Dick Slater by DQ

Mon., 4/25/83 Elizabethton, NC
Jay Youngblood, Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang, Don Kernodle & Oliver Humperdink
Mike Rotundo beat Bill White
Mike Rotundo beat Larry Lane
Pvt. Nelson beat Ken Timbs

Tue., 4/26/83 Columbia, SC; Township Auditorium
Ricky Harris d. Vinnie Valentino
Keith Larsen d. Ken Timbs
Jos LeDuc d. Red Dog Lane
Andre the Giant & Roddy Piper & Bugsy McGraw d. Greg Valentine & One Man Gang & Sir Oliver Humperdink
Ric Flair DCO Jimmy Valiant

Roddy Piper, Jos Leduc & Bugsy McGraw beat Greg Valentine, One Man Gang & Oliver Humperdink
NWA World Champion Ric Flair no contest with Jimmy Valiant

Wed., 4/27/83 Charlotte, NC(TV)
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo beat Masa Fuchi & Larry Lane
Roddy Piper beat Ben Alexander
Rufus R. Jones beat Bill White
Jos LeDuc beat Snake Brown
Magic Dragon & Great Kabuki beat Vinnie Valentino & Ron Rossi
World Wide Wrestling:
Johnny Weaver & Mike Rotundo beat Ben Alexander & Snake Brown
Rufus R. Jones beat Masa Fuchi
Roddy Piper beat Larry Lane
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Gene Anderson & Bill White
Magic Dragon & Great Kabuki beat Jim Nelson & Keith Larson

Wed., 4/27/83 Sumter, SC
NWA World Champion Ric Flair vs. Dick Slater
Andre The Giant, Bugsy McGraw & Jimmy Valiant vs. Jake Roberts, One Man Gang & Oliver Humperdink
Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Ricky Harris
Ken Timbs vs. Mike Davis

Thu., 4/28/83 Norfolk, VA
NWA Champion Ric Flair beat Dick Slater
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Jake Roberts & Magic Dragon
Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang
Jos Leduc beat Bill White
Gene Anderson beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Ricky Harris beat Mark Fleming
Keith Larsen beat Massa Fuchi 

Fri., 4/29/83 Wilmington, NC; Legion Stadium
Wayne Jones vs. Masa Fuchi
Mike Davis vs. Keith Larson
Johnny Weaver vs. Ricky Harris
Sweet Brown Sugar vs. Red Dog Lane
Jack Brisco & Gerald Brisco vs. Kabuki & Magic Dragon
World tag team title/cage match: Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood [ch.] vs. Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kerndole

Fri., 4/29/83 Charleston SC
Jos Leduc beat Dick Slater
Jimmy Valiant, Bugsy McGraw & Mike Rotundo beat One Man Gang, Jake Roberts & Oliver Humperdink
Jim Nelson beat Bill White
Vinnie Valentino beat Ken Timbs

Sat., 4/30/83 Richmond, VA
Mike Rotundo beat Bill White
Rufus R. Jones beat Ricky Harris
Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang
Jake Roberts beat Mike Graham
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco beat Gene Anderson & Angelo Mosca
Jos LeDuc beat Dick Slater to win NWA TV title in a lumberjack match
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki in a New York street fight
Roddy Piper beat Greg Valentine
Cage match/loser leaves town: Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt Slaughter & Don Kernodle

Sun., 5/01/83 Greensboro, NC; Greensboro Coliseum
Keith Larson beat Ken Timbs
Jos LeDuc beat Ricky Harris
Bugsy McGraw beat One Man Gang
Jake Roberts beat Mike Graham
Dick Slater beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Angelo Mosca & Gene Anderson
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki in a New York street fight
Greg Valentine beat Roddy Piper to win United States Title
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle

Monday, January 11, 2021

Studio Wrestling: 1976 Weather Promo Has 5 Wrestling Connections


by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway
Originally published on Studio Wrestling

WRAL produced a series of satirical promotional spots in early 1976 to announce Bob DeBardelaben as the primary weather host on WRAL newscasts, replacing Bob Caudle who was moving into other responsibilities at WRAL working for Jesse Helms (and continuing his hosting duties of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, of course.)

Brian Rogers recently discovered a compilation of those promotional clips on You Tube. I pulled them off YouTube and edited them down to one single storyline clip and re-posted them.

The immediate interest was of course that Bob Caudle was featured, and there was also a cameo by Blackjack Mulligan in the wrestling ring at WRAL. It was cool that the video featured these two direct wrestling connections, and also a third, since it was the voice of Bob Debardelaben you heard at each of the two breaks for the local wrestling promotional spots during "Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling" and "Wide World Wrestling":

"Let's take time for this commercial message about the Mid-Atlantic Wrestling events coming up in your area."

A day or so after posting the video clip, Carroll Hall (who publishes the excellent "All Star Championship Wrestling" blog) pointed out to me that there was a fourth wrestling connection in the video I had failed to notice: sportscaster Nick Pond. Pond was host of the Raleigh-only wrestling broadcast "Championship Wrestling" on WRAL throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. 

After writing up that information and watching the video yet again, I suddenly noticed what I thought was the familiar face of Raleigh area promoter Joe Murnick in one short scene where the president of the station is seen at his desk. Mr. Murnick is seen sitting on the couch behind him. I asked Elliot Murnick and he confirmed it was indeed his father. (Elliot also confirmed that the "president" in the video is indeed longtime President and CEO of Capitol broadcasting Jim Goodmon.)

That makes a total of five people in this short video that had direct connections to Mid-Atlantic Wrestling at WRAL-TV:



Bob Caudle
Bob hosted Jim Crockett Promotions' syndicated All Star Wrestling in the 1960s that later became Mid-Atlantic Wrestling in the 1970s and 1980s. He did weather, sports, and news at various times throughout his WRAL career, and worked for Jesse Helms at the station as well. He is seen here receiving the keys to the "executive washroom" after being promoted at WRAL.




Bob DeBardelaben
"The Biggest Name in Weather", DeBardelaben succeeded Bob Caudle as the primary weather host (known then as 'weathermen') in 1976. The promotional spots featured here served to announce and promote that. DeBardelaben is the main star of the vignettes.




Nick Pond
Nick Pond hosted the Raleigh-only broadcast of Championship Wrestling (taped simultaneously alongside Caudle's All Star Wrestling) throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. He was the main sports anchor for WRAL at the time of these promotional spots, and is seen in the video joining others in welcoming DeBardelaben to the team.




Joe Murnick
Murnick was the local promoter for Jim Crockett Promotions in Raleigh (as well as other towns in eastern NC and Virginia.) He ran his own events promotion company as well, staging concerts and other events in addition to wrestling almost every Tuesday night at the Dorton Arena or the Raleigh Civic Center. He is seen here in one scene (at the :59 second mark) sitting on a couch behind the president of the station, Jim Goodmon.




Blackjack Mulligan
One of the main event wrestlers for Jim Crockett and Joe Murnick during this time period, Mulligan was chasing the United States Heavyweight wrestling championship held by Paul Jones. (He would win the title for the first time on March 13 in Greensboro.) He has a cameo role here answering the question "Will Bob (DeBardelaben) quit?" Mully leans through the ropes of the wrestling ring in the TV studio and says "He better not!"

Originally published in February of 2013 on Studio Wrestling,
part of the Mid-Atlantic Gateway family of websites.


Thanks to Brian Rogers, Carroll Hall, and Elliot Murnick.
Link to original unedited WRAL promos: WRAL-TV: "As The Weather Turns" Promos (1976)

Saturday, January 09, 2021

Father and Fighter: Roddy Piper Delivers the Ultimate Babyface Promo

by Dick Bourne
Mid-Atlantic Gateway


"You take a look at me, man. I'm just like James Dean, the only difference is the wrapping is a little different, jack."  - Roddy Piper


On the April 23, 1983 episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the show's first interview is with the new United States Heavyweight Champion Roddy Piper, who has the belt and speaks with show host Bob Caudle. 

Piper had just a week earlier defeated Greg Valentine in Greensboro for the title. It was his second time around holding the belt, the area's most prestigious championship. Valentine was stinging from the loss, promising Piper he would make him the shortest lived U.S. champion ever, and hurt him in the process.

Piper gave the ultimate rebuttal. If you were to look up "perfect babyface interview" in a online digital dictionary, this interview would be the example used to illustrate it. Piper just nails it on every level. He is humble and happy, funny yet serious, but most of all he is real. Not only was Piper celebrating his win over Valentine, he was celebrating some personal landmarks in his life outside of the ring, and he expertly wove them into his interview with Caudle. These were real events and not part of the wrestling storyline, but like so many of the wrestlers of that era, he used part of his real life and his real personality to augment his work. The result was one of the strongest babyface promos you'll ever see.

"I had a week you wouldn't believe, man," Piper told Caudle with a big grin on his face. "On April the 15th you see, I won the United States Heavyweight Championship from Greg Valentine in Greensboro. On April the 17th, I had a birthday." Then looking over at the TV studio audience in attendance, he said, "And on April the 19th I became the father of a 7.9 pound baby girl!"

The crowd exploded with cheers, like it was someone in their family that had just given them this great news. There was this sudden and organic moment of bonding with the fans as Piper grinned ear to ear looking over Bob Caudle's shoulder at them seated on the bleachers in the cramped studio. "That's not a bad week, huh?" he giggled, "Not a bad week at all."

Piper had just connected with his audience in a way few babyfaces could. It was real. And it set the stage for what was next. Piper wasn't grinning anymore; he became deadly serious, and it was his delivery during all of this that added the proper emphasis.

"You see, I got a whole change of thought happening here, Valentine, I'm probably meaner now than I've been in my whole life," Piper said, looking down at the floor. "Because you see, when I first started to fight, I used to fight to feed myself, and it was positively I should win." Piper then looked straight into the camera. "And now it's kind of a necessity, you see, because I'm fighting for others now."

This wasn't someone pretending to be a babyface, this was a real babyface, a guy ready to man up and fight for his family, become a provider, a father, and likely a better husband. Then Piper brings it back around, stepping away from hearth and home, and gets back to the business of selling tickets. 

"I'm fighting for others now, and if you want to beat me Valentine, you're going to have to kill me for this belt." 

Wrestling's James Dean left the interview position shortly after, clearly a man on a mission to defend his title and to take care of his family. 

Valentine, however, made good on his earlier promises to Piper. Just a little over one week later on May 1, back in the ring in Greensboro, Valentine regained the championship, badly injuring Piper's ear in the process. But the people were behind their hero. And now the chase was on.

That angle would serve as the beginning of what Piper would call "the year of the ear" and would lead to climactic dog-collar match seven months later on Thanksgiving night as part of the very first Starrcade. But it was this interview by Piper that first gave the whole program with Valentine a sense of realism and consequence on a level not always achieved in a pro-wrestling storyline. 

You can watch this interview on the 4/23/83 episode of Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling on the WWE Network. It takes place at the 4:27 mark of the show

* * * * *

For you title history buffs out there, Piper mentions in this interview that he defeated Greg Valentine for the U.S. title on April 15, but it was actually Saturday April 16, 1983.

 

Thursday, January 07, 2021

Crockett Cup '85 Continues: Andersons vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi (Round Three)

ONLY SIXTEEN TEAMS REMAIN! See the Scouting Report on the remaining teams.

BRACKETS
Updated brackets coming into tonight's matches.
[Links to all previous matches at the bottom of this post.]
[See the Round Three Scouting Report]

THIS WEEK'S MATCH
Third Round Match #2
(Tournament Match #34)
Andersons vs. Inoki/
Sakaguchi

BACKGROUND
The 1985 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Tag Team Tournament is underway. Wait, did you just say 1985? It’s time to take a look at one of wrestling’s biggest events from the mid-80s and see what it might have been like with a few historical alterations. What if Jim Crockett Promotions hosted its tag team tournament the Crockett Cup in 1985 and included teams from promotions outside the National Wrestling Alliance (“NWA”) including the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), All Japan Pro Wrestling, and more? In this case, you’d have 48 of the greatest tag teams in the world battling in a winner take all tournament for $1,000,000 and the prestigious Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup Trophy. 

The first round saw 32 teams competing to advance to round two with 16 teams making it in. Round two followed as these 16 teams battled the 16 top-seeded tag teams that received a first-round bye. Now, round two has finished and just sixteen teams remain as round three continues. 

THIRD ROUND RULES
Here are the rules for the round two of our tournament. A pool of referees from the NWA, AWA, and WWF have been appointed for the tournament and randomly selected for each match. The third-round matches have a sixty-minute time limit and are sanctioned under NWA rules (throwing an opponent over the top rope is an automatic disqualification). The matches are one fall with a win obtained by a pinfall, submission, count-out, or disqualification. 

The third-round matches are being held over two nights at the Omni in Atlanta, Georgia. The first four matches will take place on Friday April 19 while the remaining four will take place on Saturday April 20. Your commentators for the matches will be Bob Caudle and David Crockett, but as always, you never know when a special guest will show up. 

Last time around the team of the Rock-n-Roll Express (Ricky Morton and Robert Gibson) overcame the mighty Russian team of Ivan and Nikita Koloff (who had some unofficial help from Krusher Krushchev as well). Now, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Ole and Arn Anderson) lock up with the highly-ranked team from Japan, Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi. 

PRE-MATCH INTEERVIEWS
Tony Schiavone is backstage with the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Ole and Arn Anderson). Ole is wearing a t-shirt that reads “Damn I Am Good” as Tony introduces the team. Ole asks Tony why he feels the need to introduce them as they’re the Andersons, a team that needs no introduction. Ole says it’s time to make one thing clear, he and Arn know that Jim Crockett has it out for them, otherwise they wouldn’t be putting some of the biggest names in front of them. Tony reminds Ole that the tournament features the biggest stars in the world, but Ole tells Schiavone that first Crockett put them against Windham and Rotunda. Now, they’re facing the best team in Japan—Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi. That’s fine, Crockett can stack the deck but the Andersons will rise to the occasion. Arn Anderson tells Schiavone that there’s no way he and Ole are leaving tonight without having their hands raised in victory. Arn says he doesn’t have Dusty Rhodes’ gift of gab, and he doesn’t have Magnum T.A.’s good looks, but he’s an Anderson and he’s a born winner. Inoki and Sakaguchi are going to discover the difference between being good and being great.
 

Ole and Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi 
Referee Tommy Gilbert Sr. is calling this match and checks all four wrestlers for foreign objects, signaling for the bell. Arn Anderson starts off against Sakaguchi. Collar and elbow tie-up that sees Anderson try to power Seiji into the corner, only for Seiji to hurl him down to the mat. Arn gets back up, but Seiji is right on top of him and applies a wristlock, turning it into an armbar. Bob Caudle points out that Seiji is a big man, standing 6’5” and he knows how to use his height advantage. Seiji takes Arn down with an arm drag, applying a wristlock and keeping Anderson down on the mat. The fans are cheering the Japanese team, who Bob Caudle points out have been impressive so far in the tournament. David Crockett adds the team overcame the Rougeau Brothers in round one and “Bulldog” Bob Brown and Marty Jannetty in round two. Bob Caudle says now they’re facing one of the roughest teams in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling, the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, who aren’t afraid to hurt their opponents or bend the rules to get a “W.”

Arn Anderson shows the fans just what Bob Caudle is talking about as he punches Seiji, escaping the hold. Quick tag to Ole who goes to lock up with Seiji but tries a go-behind, only for Sakaguchi to flip Ole down to the ground. Ole gets up and takes a swing at Seiji, who blocks the punch and chops him in the chest. Seiji whips Ole into the ropes and hits a big back body-drop, sending Anderson down hard. Ole rolls out of the ring and confers with Arn, clearly concerned about how the match has been going so far. David says the Andersons won’t win the match outside the ring, but Bob points out they’re probably hoping to frustrate their opponents. 

Ole gets back in the ring and goes after Seiji again, only for Seiji to catch him with a wristlock and subsequent arm bar. Seiji takes Anderson to the babyface corner and tags in Antonio Inoki who chops Ole then applies an armbar. Ole gets to the ropes and forces a break, raising his arms for a clean break then kneeing Inoki in the gut. Ole drops a forearm across Inoki’s back, knocking him down to one knee. Anderson slugs Inoki with a big right, leading to a warning from the referee. Ole bodyslams Inoki and bounces off the ropes, going to drop a knee, but Inoki rolls out of the way. Inoki applies a cross kneelock. Inoki keeps the pressure up as Ole tries to get out. Arn comes in, but Seiji beats him to the punch, knocking “Double A” down with a knee to the gut. Referee Tommy Gilbert orders both men back to their corners as Inoki lifts Ole up and hits a side suplex. Cover on Anderson for just a two count. Antonio lifts Ole off the mat and bodyslams him towards Seiji. Tag to Seiji who drops a knee onto Anderson. Seiji applies a cross kneelock and David Crockett points out that the Japanese team is taking a page out of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew’s playbook, targeting one body part and working it over throughout the match. Bob Caudle tells David he seems to be right and that Antonio Inoki is known for his Indian Deathlock, a move that could get him a submission win if he and Seiji wear down Anderson enough. 

Anderson can’t get out of the kneelock, but he does make it to the ropes again, forcing a break. He gets up and it’s clear his leg has been weakened as he limps on it. Ole rakes Seiji’s eyes, getting a momentary respite. He unloads with a big right followed by a knee to the gut. Seiji shakes his head as Ole powers him into the heel corner. Ole tags Arn who grabs Seiji’s arms, allowing Ole a free shot on Sakaguchi. Knee to the gut by Ole as Arn comes in and starts punching his opponent. The referee starts a five-count on Arn who seems to ignore him and throws Sakaguchi through the ropes onto the floor. Arn goes out and bodyslams Sakaguchi on the floor. He then stomps on Sakaguchi’s right arm. Tommy Gilbert Sr. is up to a five-count when Arn throws Seiji back in the ring, rolling in after him. Arn tucks Sakaguchi’s right arm behind his back then slams him down to the mat. David Crockett says “Here they go, it’s classic Anderson strategy.” Arn applies an arm bar on Seiji’s right arm and tags in Ole who drops a forearm on Seiji’s arm then applies an arm bar of his own. Ole bodyslams Sakaguchi just as Arn did, making sure to apply the maximum force possible to Sakaguchi’s weakened arm. Anderson stomps Sakaguchi’s arm then tags in Arn, who takes Seiji’s arm and drives it into the top rope. Rake of the eyes on Sakaguchi as Arn throws him into the ropes, hitting a spinebuster. Cover on Sakaguchi but he kicks out right before the three count. 

Anderson is irate and stomps Seiji’s bad arm again. Arn applies an armbar as Bob Caudle says it looks like Anderson thinks he’s got Seiji’s arm weakened enough to go for a submission. However, Sakaguchi refuses to quit, despite Arn cranking away at the arm. Anderson picks up Sakaguchi and whips him into the ropes again, but Seiji counters, bouncing off the other ropes and hitting a knee drop. Both men go down though but Seiji has just enough energy to crawl to his corner and make the hot tag to Inoki. 

Antonio Inoki rushes into the ring as Arn begs off, pleading for mercy. Inoki isn’t having it and attacks Arn, throwing him into the ropes and hitting a big dropkick. He lays into Anderson with more attacks as Sakaguchi lies on the mat, trying to recover from the brutal double-team he suffered. Ole watches intently as Inoki batters Arn. He goes to whip Arn into the corner, but Arn reverses, sending Inoki into the Andersons’ corner. As Inoki flies in, Ole lowers his head and Antonio’s head crashes into Ole’s, knocking both men senseless. Arn covers Inoki as both Ole and Seiji are out of commission. 1-2-3 and the Minnesota Wrecking Crew pull off what has to be seen as an upset over the highly-favored Japanese team. 

Winners; Ole and Arn Anderson 

Join us next time as The Midnight Express (“Beautiful” Bobby Eaton and “Loverboy” Dennis Condrey) with Jim Cornette battle the High Flyers (“Jumping” Jim Brunzell and Greg Gagne). Who will advance to round four as in the quest for tag team glory and some serious cash!

* * * * * * * * * * * *


PREVIOUS POSTS IN THE CROCKETT CUP '85 FANTASY SERIES


Original Tournament Announcement (May 2020)

Seedings and First Round Pairings Announced


THIRD ROUND MATCHES  (Scouting Report)
Third Round: Match 1 (Tournament Match #33)
     The Rock & Roll Express vs. The Russians
Third Round: Match 2 (Tournament Match #34)
     Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Antonio Inoki and Seiji Sakaguchi 

SECOND ROUND MATCHES
Second Round: Matches 1 & 2 (Tournament 17 & 18)

     Mulligan/McDaniel vs. The Russians
    Rock & Roll Express vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
Second Round: Matches 3 & 4 (Tournament 19 & 20)
    Brown/Jannetty vs. Inoki & Sakaguchi
    Ole & Arn Anderson vs. Windham/Rotunda)
Second Round: Matches 5 & 6 (Tournament 21 & 22)

    Midnight Express vs. Hart Foundation
    PYT Express vs. High Flyers
Second Round: Matches 7 & 8 (Tournament 23 & 24) 
    Rude/Barr (with Percy Pringle III) vs. Kevin and Mike Von Erich
    Fujinami/Kimura vs. British Bulldogs
Second Round: Matches 9 & 10 (Tournament 25 & 26)
    Brody/Hansen vs. Williams/DiBiase
    Road Warriros vs. Lawler/Dundee
Second Round: Matches 11 & 12 (Tournament 27 & 28)
    Piper & Orton vs. The Oklahoma Cowboys
    The Funk Brothers vs. The Younglood Brothers
Second Round: Matches 13 & 14 (Tournament 29 & 30)
    Rhodes/Murdoch vs. Adams/Hernandez
    Sheik/Volkoff vs. Steamboat/Snuka
Second Round: Matches 15 & 16 (Tournament 31 & 32)
    Fantastics vs. Fabulous Ones
    Sheepherders vs. Freebirds


FIRST ROUND MATCHES

First Round: Matches 1 & 2
    Hennig/Blackwell vs. Mulligan/McDaniel
    Tyler/Whatley vs. Maharishi/Nagasaki
First Round: Matches 3 & 4
    Windham/Rotunda vs. Bockwinkel/Saito
    Rougeaus vs. Inoki/Sakaguchi
First Round: Matches 5 &6
    Barbarian/Graham vs. Hart Foundation (Hart/Neidhart)
    High Flyers (Brunzell/Gagne) vs. Savage/Poffo
First Round: Matches 7 & 8:
    The Von Erich vs. Blanchard/Abdullah the Butcher
    Tenryu/Tsuruta vs. The British Bulldogs
First Round: Matches 9 & 10:
    Graham/Blair vs. DiBiase/Williams
    Valiant/McGraw vs. Lawler/Dundee
First Round: Matches 11 & 12:
    Piper/Orton vs. Patterson/Fernandez
    Rock & Roll RPMs vs. Youngblood Brothers
First Round: Matches 13 and 14:
    Dynamic Duo (Gino & Chris) vs. American Starship
    Sawyer Bros. vs. Steamboat/Snuka
First Round: Matches 15 and 16
    Batten Twins vs. Fabulous Ones
    Weaver/Houston vs. Sheepherders

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Mid-Atlantic TV Report: April 23, 1983

Mid-Atlantic Wrestling on
the WWE Network

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
TV Summaries & Reviews
by David Taub
Mid-Atlantic Gateway Contributor

This is a review of Mid-Atlantic Wrestling as it appeared on the WWE Network. Results are included for the week (Monday-Sunday of the given week) as available. Please email with any corrections, typos, results, other details at 1davidtaub@gmail.com. Follow @TaubGVWire

For links to all available summaries as well as links to the Mid-Atlantic Championship Podcast, visit our TV Summary Index.


Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: 04/23/83
(taped 04/20/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network Direct Link to this show Mid-Atlantic 04/23/83
WWE Network feed.   [How to watch this show on the WWE Network.] 

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling
Original broadcast: April 16, 1983 (taped 4/13/83 at WPCQ-TV studios in Charlotte)
WWE Network feed

Match 1
Mike Rotundo d. Ken Timbs

The action starts with the match in progress. Bob Caudle previews what the next hour of wrestling will feature. Ron West is the referee for the hour. Mostly Rotundo. He wins with the airplane spin.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: New United States Champion Roddy Piper  -
A-Plus babyface promo from Piper. Caudle introduces him as the new United states champion. Piper says it has been a big week for him. On April 15 in Greensboro, he won the title. On April 17, it was his birthday. On April 19, his daughter was born. Before, he just fought for himself. Now, he has a mouth to feed. Wow!

[Break]

[TAPE] Comments from former Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle
Caudle throws to taped comments from Slaughter and Kernodle from the World Wide set. They are gloating about beating down Steamboat & Youngblood. They say it will come down to the ultimate match. In a cage, and the losing team must break up. NWA representative Sandy Scott sneaks up behind them. He demands they return to the belts they stole last week. Slaughter & Kernodle play dumb. Scott tells them they have been fined $1,000 a day for the last seven days. Still nothing from the heels. Scott then raises the fine to $2,000 a day. That upsets Kernodle plenty.
[TAPE] Sarge and Kernodle steal the tag belts. 

[Break]

Match 2
[TAPE from Florida] Mike Graham d. Chic Donovan
Commentary by Les Thatcher and Coach John Heath

Something cut edited out, because we go to a jump cut from a tape from Florida. John Heath & Les Thatcher are on the mic. Bill Alfonso is the referee. I’m not a Heath fan. He tries to call wrestling as a shoot, and tries too hard. This is taped from Sept. 1982 as they reference the “Dual in the Dome” in Tampa. Graham wins with the Figure Four.

Match 3
Jake Roberts (mgd. by Paul Jones) d. Wayne Brown

Paul Jones joined Caudle on commentary. All Jake. Not even Jones knew the name of Roberts’s finisher (i.e. the DDT). He calls it a bulldog, but more effective than a piledriver.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jake Roberts & Paul Jones
Studio interview in lieu of local promos, aimed at the Florida market.
Caudle brings up Mike Graham. Jones calls him the Dudley Do Right of professional wrestling. Roberts calls him a punk, among other smack talk. 

[Break]

Match 4
One Man Gang d. Ron Rossi

Sir Oliver Humperdink joins Caudle on commentary. He talks about OMG beating Andre the Giant. Caudle has his doubts. Gang wins with the Big Splash. (Pleasant surprise: WWE fails to remove

Match 5
The Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon (w/Gary Hart) d. Keith Larson & Mark Fleming

We go directly to the next match. Dragon is a protégé of Kabuki from Macau. Gary Hart joins Caudle, and calls Kabuki and Dragon the All Asian Tag Team Champions. Lots of chops and punches. Fleming runs right into a Kabuki thrust kick. Dragon has Fleming in the corner. He performs a backflip and then a kick to the chest to make the pin.

[Break]

-Halftime Int. w/Bob Caudle: Greg Valentine & Dick Slater
Valentine said it’s hard to accept he is not the United States champion. (Says he was voted greatest U.S. champion of all time.) He will get the belt back. Slater talks about Jos LeDuc. Slater says he will retire the NWA TV championship, because he wants Ric Flair and the World title.

[Break]

[TAPE] Int. w/David Crockett: Jimmy Valiant
We go to the World Wide Wrestling set where Jimmy Valiant is ranting. We then go to a tape of last week’s incident where Valiant interrupts a Kabuki and Hart interview. It leads to a quick match won by Valliant. Kabuki then sprays the mist in Valiant’s eyes.

Back to Valiant and Crockett. The WWE Network edit music plays and drowns out most of what is said. Valiant thanks the doctor who helped with his eyes. He pulls out his wallet that presumably has a picture of his son. Valiant says he had to wear a patch on his eyes. He pulls out a chain, wraps it on his knuckles, and says the Boogie Man is coming.

[Break]

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Steamboat is low key, talking about Slaughter & Kernodle stealing their belts. It appears the interview cuts out with Youngblood still talking.

[Break]

Match 6
Non-Title: Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood [NWA World Tag ch.] d. Red Dog Lane & Bill White

Caudle talks about who the top contenders are. Is it Slaughter & Kernodle? The Briscos? Also talks about Roddy Piper as new champion. Lane & White are showing resiliency, as the champs have a hard time putting them down. A loud chop by Youngblood. Steamboat slingshots Youngblood on top of White for the pin.

-Int. w/Bob Caudle: Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco; Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood
Caudle brings out how the Briscos are friends with Steamboat & Youngblood. Jack feels they are the number-one contenders. They say they want the winners of Steamboat & Youngblood vs. Slaughter & Kernodle. Jerry adds some words in about the Briscos being the best.
[Gateway edit: Love hearing Jerry bring up the other brother teams so prominently including the Funk Brothers and the Anderson Brothers. This was part of the Brisco's early very-subtle heel turn, with Jack taking care to point out that if he and Jerry were world champions, Sarge and Kernodle would never be able to steal the belts from them.]
Jay says they want their belts back. He namedrops a bunch of other teams. They are looking for revenge on Slaughter & Kernodle.

*************************

Results for the week, 4/18/83-4/24/83
(source: Clawmaster’s Archive via Sports and Wrestling blog posted by David Baker; “Wrestling” newsletter by Joe Shedlock)

Mon., 4/18/83 Greenville, SC; Memorial Auditorium
Keith Larsen d. Bill White
Don Kernodle beat Jim Nelson in a boot camp match
Sweet Brown Sugar beat Jacques Goulet
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Paul Jones & Jake Roberts
Jimmy Valiant beat Greg Valentine

Tue., 4/19/83 Raleigh, NC; Raleigh Civic Center
Mike Davis d. Ken Timbs
Ricky Harris d. Wayne Jones
Johnny Weaver d. Masa Fuchi
Jos Le Duc & Bugsy McGraw d. One Man Gang & Dick Slater
Great Kabuki d. Mike Rotundo
Jimmy Valiant d. Greg Valentine

Wed. 4/20/83 Columbia, SC
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Jake Roberts & Larry Lane
Don Kernodle beat Jim Nelson
Jake Roberts beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Gene Anderson & Larry Lane beat Keith Larsen & Mark Fleming
Bill White beat Vinnie Valentino

Wed., 4/20/83 Charlotte, NC; WPCQ-TV studio (TV)
Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling:
Mike Rotundo beat Ken Timbs
Jake Roberts beat Wayne Jones
One Man Gang beat Ron Rossi
Magic Dragon & Great Kabuki beat Keith Larson & Mark Fleming
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood beat Larry Lane & Bill White
World Wide Wrestling:
Dick Slater d. Mike Davis
Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon d. Ron Rossi & Vinnie Valentino
Jake Roberts d. Mark Fleming
Greg Valentine d. Wayne Jones
Jack Brisco & Jerry Brisco d. Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood by DQ

Thu., 4/21/83 Harrisonburg, VA
Magic Dragon vs. Keith Larson
Larry Lane vs. Mike Davis
Jos LeDuc vs. Ken Timbs
Great Kabuki vs. Mike Rotundo
Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood vs. Sgt. Slaughter & One Man Gang

Fri., 4/22/83 Charleston SC; Town Center
Bill White d. Wayne Jones
Sgt. Jacques Goulet d. Abe Jacobs
Magic Dragon d. Johnny Weaver
Dragon Shai match: Great Kabuki d. Mike Rotundo in
Sgt. Slaughter vs. Jim Nelson in a boot camp match

Sat., 4/23/83 Cownay, SC
Ken Timbs d. Vinnie Valentino
Bill White d. Wayne Jones
Sweet Brown Sugar d. Ricky Harris
Mike Rotundo d. Greg Valneine
Cage: Sgt. Slaughter & Don Kernodle d. Rick Steamboat & Jay Youngblood

Sun., 4/24/83 Asheville, NC
Mike Davis beat Bill White
Jacques Goulet beat Vinnie Valentino
Jack & Jerry Brisco beat Gene Anderson & Larry Lane
Jos LeDuc beat One Man Gang
Jimmy Valiant & Bugsy McGraw beat Great Kabuki & Magic Dragon
Roddy Piper beat Dick Slater
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Greg Valentine

Sun., 4/24/83 Charlotte, NC
Ricky Harris beat Keith Larson
Johnny Weaver beat Masa Fuchi
Magic Dragon beat Jim Nelson
Jake Roberts beat Sweet Brown Sugar
Jimmy Valiant beat Great Kabuki
Roddy Piper beat Dick Slater
Sgt. Slaughter/Don Kernodle beat NWA Tag Champs Ricky Steamboat & Jay Youngblood by DQ
NWA World Champion Ric Flair beat Greg Valentine by DQ

Monday, January 04, 2021

An Introduction Fit for a "Superstar"

by David Chappell
Mid-Atlantic Gateway

Fans of Jim Crockett Promotions that turned their television sets on to view the Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling television program that was taped on September 29, 1976 knew from the opening moments of the show that they were going to witness a very special episode. 

Prof. Boris Malenko
with the Masked Superstar


At the outset of the show, venerable announcer Bob Caudle talked with Chief Wahoo McDaniel who had just dispatched Bolo Mongol in a Hair versus Hair, Loser Leaves Town match days earlier in the Greensboro Coliseum. Wahoo and Caudle, with color commentator David Crockett at their side, commented on a film clip where Wahoo defeated Bolo Mongol, and with the help of Dusty Rhodes shaved off the top knot of the Mongol’s hair. Wahoo gave the viewers a tease as to what was to come by referencing Mongol’s manager “Professor” Boris Malenko and saying, “Well you know, Malenko is out searching and I’ve heard he’s got somebody bigger and better than the Mongol, but that remains to be seen, let him bring him on…we’ll take him!”

After a short break Caudle told the fans, “All right, in the center of the ring David [Crockett] there stands Boris Malenko, evidently the Superstar is his new man that we’ve heard so much about. He wants to say a few words.”  Crockett added, “He won’t wrestle until he’s given permission to talk.” Malenko blurted out, “Just one moment, referee!” Referee Tommy Young yelled back, “Let’s go!!” 

Undeterred, Malenko continued, “Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to make an announcement. I’ve been harassed, humiliated, almost driven out of the ends of my wits here, by such persons as Wahoo McDaniel, Paul Jones and others I know you know that don’t need mentioning. But because I’ve been put in such an embarrassing position and also the people that I’ve managed such as Bolo and Geto Mongol have left me, I have by some stroke of good fortune, some luck, have come up with a person that I would look from the four corners of the earth to meet up with, but where did I meet him right here in the United States of America.”

With the masked newcomer fidgeting next to him, the “Professor” carried on without taking a breath, “A learned individual, an ex, a former gold medal winner of the Olympics, a learned individual, holding a ‘doctrine’ degree of neurology, holding a ‘doctrine’ degree of psychology, the greatest athlete that has ever been seen here in the Mid-Atlantic area or any other area in the world today, I give you my new champion, the greatest wrestler today that will ever be seen and the greatest wrestler that is ever going to enter this ring or any other ring, my champion…SUPERSTAR!!”

Stepping to the front of the interview set, the hooded newcomer finally spoke in measured tones, “Thank you very much Mr. Malenko. Referee, will you tell these idiots, these ‘mediocracy’ people, I am here for one reason. My friend Mr. Malenko has asked me to come here and settle some personal issues…I’m going to begin this evening. And I want everybody here to realize that they are now at once and for all going to appreciate…stardom.”

A wide-eyed Caudle concluded the segment, “All right fans and David, there you have the story from Boris Malenko and his new wrestler, or protégé, or whatever it might be, he calls him Superstar and he says he’s just fantastic!”

Later in the same show, Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling President Jim Crockett, Jr. confronts the Superstar and Professor Boris Malenko…to be continued in Part 2!